Irene Olson Irene's biliary adventure

First post: Jun 9, 2019 Latest post: Jul 23, 2023
Welcome! We are using CaringBridge to keep family and friends updated in one place. OF NOTE: if you pay on the "Tribute" that money goes to caring bridge, not my mom. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. There are so many caring family and friends that we will keep this updated so everyone knows what's going on. If you are wanting to visit or help, please just call or text Sonja AND Irene. Whoever is staying with Irene is monitoring her texts as she herself often does not read them or keep up with voicemails. 

My mom loves flowers and snail mail cards. If she doesn't answer your call or text, don't worry, she will reply when she has the energy. 

Irene's address is 3625 45th Ave SW Seattle WA 98116.  Irene's phone 206-902-6013, Sonja 206-419-9570

Here's the original story:

The first week of May, just as she was settling into her retirement, Irene started feeling a little sick, like a virus or food poisoning. She saw her family doctor who noticed she looked a little yellow. It turned out her bilirubin and liver tests were high, which seemed to suggest infectious hepatitis. But all the infectious labs came back normal, and her tests kept worsening. Eventually she had an MRI that showed narrowing of an intrahepatic bile duct. Then her CA-19-9 cancer antigen came back very high, which strongly pointed to the possibility of biliary duct cancer, or cholangiocarcinoma.

Her next step was an ERCP, where they go in with a camera to look in the bile ducts, get a sample, and put in a stent. Unfortunately, the stent was so small that it didn't drain anything, and the sample came back "non-diagnostic.” So just last week she had a 2nd procedure ERCP and was fortunately able to get two stents in and some better samples. We are going to meet with an oncologist soon and then we'll have some more info of the road ahead.